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Saucony Mirage 2 (1 for 1)

Est. $105
Reviewed
December 2012
by ConsumerSearch
Saucony Mirage 2 (1 for 1)

Pros
  • Medial post provides some stability
  • Lightweight
  • Minimalist-style design
Cons
  • Limited cushioning, structure
  • May take some getting used to

Bottom line

Nominally a minimalist running shoe thanks to its light weight and 4 mm heel-to-toe drop, the Saucony Mirage 2 has a couple of stability features that set it apart from the minimalist pack. Experts say it provides excellent comfort, a snug fit and good stability for mild overpronation.

Fit and flexibility

High-end fit, moderate flexibility. Because the Saucony Mirage 2 is billed as a minimalist shoe, its flexible, comfortable fit is no surprise. This updated version uses welded-on overlays instead of the original Mirage's stitched-on overlays, which some reviewers said irritated their feet.

Other than the welding improvement, the design of the upper really hasn't changed much between generations. Testers with RunningWarehouse.com say the Mirage 2 provides a snug fit, better than the original. They also like how the medial, or inside, part of the upper is more supportive. User reviewers agree that the Mirage 2's fit is comfortable but not restrictive, and one posting to Saucony.com is thrilled that the tongue actually stays put.

Flexibility is usually a high point for lightweight shoes, but interestingly the Runner's World shoe guide only gives this model mid-range rankings for flexibility. User reviews do not have anything to add on that front.

Comfort and cushioning

Built for forefoot strikers. While the drop from heel to toe in a conventional pair of running shoes ranges from about 10 to 14 mm, the Mirage 2 features a low 4 mm drop that gives it a faster, more racelike feel. The Mirage 2 is built on the same level platform as the minimalist Saucony Kinvara 2 (Est. $100) , but testers say it's a completely different, and significantly beefier, shoe. Nonetheless, the Mirage 2 still weighs just 9.2 ounces for a men's shoe and 8 ounces for a women's.

Although this shoe can accommodate a heel striker, it's actually built for forefoot or midfoot strikers. Accordingly, it gets high marks for forefoot cushioning and only so-so ratings for heel cushioning in the Runner's World shoe guide. Testers with RunningWarehouse.com say they cannot tell the difference between the original Mirage's "smooth, stable ride" and the Mirage 2's performance. After all, the only real change to this shoe has been the transition from stitched uppers to welded.

The Mirage 2's full-contact bottom helps smooth transition through your stride. Runners posting to Saucony.com say the shoe feels comfortable and springy underfoot. However, they also warn that your body might need some time to adjust to the shoe's minimalist ride.

Stability

Minimalist stability control. Although the Saucony Mirage 2 is billed as a minimalist shoe, it has a couple of features for light stability control: a plastic arch set into the inner part of the midsole, and welds that offer more support on the inside of the upper. Taken together, these features prompt several expert sources, including Runner's World and Runner's World U.K.,to name the Mirage 2 as a great transition into the minimalist trend for anyone who still needs a touch of stability support. "A good choice for slight overpronators looking to ease into barefoot-style running," say Runner's World U.K editors. "Just enough pronation control without dominating the feel," adds a female runner at Saucony.com.

That said, the Mirage 2 gets low stability scores from Runner's World shoe guides. It is definitely not for those who need a lot of structure to keep from overpronating. A woman posting to Amazon.com says it's not for underpronators either; after running about 25 miles in the shoes, she claims to have developed severe plantar fasciitis and rolled her ankles five to seven times.

Durability

Reasonably durable for a lightweight. We didn't find much input about the Saucony Mirage 2's durability. In fact, user commentary about the shoe is in fairly short supply, period. We did, however, find a comment from one female runner posting to Saucony.com, who says that after logging 350 kilometers (about 215 miles) on these shoes, "the support is still very good."

Because improvements to the upper are the only changes since the last generation, we turned to user reviews of the original Mirage for more insight into the Mirage 2's projected durability. One poster at Amazon.com reports logging almost 1,500 miles total in four pairs of Saucony Mirages, and says that although "the soles do start looking a bit chewed up by 350 miles," you should be able to get more use out of them if you run with a light, efficient stride.

Another Amazon.com customer says his shoes only lasted six months, although he doesn't say how many miles that translates to or how much he weighs. Overall, it looks like you can expect at least 300 miles from the Saucony Mirage 2, which is pretty good durability for such a lightweight shoe.

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Saucony Men's Progrid Kinvara 2 Running Shoe
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $90.00   
Average Customer Review:  

Our Sources

1. RunnersWorld.com

The editors note that the only major change from the original Mirage design was replacing stitched overlays with welded ones. The previous review page, included attribute rankings, a brief summary of findings. Now all that remains is a bottom-line video, in which they describe the Mirage 2 as the "ideal first step for runners wanting to make the move to a lower-profile shoe."

Review: Saucony ProGrid Mirage 2, Editors of Runner's World, As of October 2013

2. RunnersWorld.com

Runner's World consistently provides the most complete and credible reviews of running shoes. In this spring 2011 roundup of the best models, Warren Greene and Martyn Shorten select 20 shoes for evaluation, including the Saucony Mirage. It receives positive feedback from both editors and testers, who say this shoe strikes a good balance between the minimal, low-to-the-ground trend and exceptional stability.

Review: Spring 2011 Running Shoe Guide, Warren Greene, Martyn Shorten, Ph.D., March 2011

3. RunningWarehouse.com

The editors of the RunningWarehouse.com blog share their overall impressions of the largely unchanged Mirage 2, including comments from several wear-testers. They have mixed feelings concerning the new upper, which they call "a little more snug" than before but still not constricting.

Review: Saucony Mirage 2 -- Our Take, Editors of RunningWarehouse.com, March 15, 2012

4. Runner's World U.K.

The U.K. edition of Runner's World features an online guide to running shoes. Real-world runners and two running teams test each shoe. The Saucony Mirage earns an excellent 4.5 stars out of 5. Editors say the addition of the medial post makes this shoe a minimalist style with enough stability to keep the foot in place.

Review: Saucony ProGrid Mirage, Editors of Runner's World U.K., Not Dated

5. Saucony.com

Thirty women review the Saucony Mirage 2, giving it a near-perfect rating overall. We normally steer clear of reviews posted to a manufacturer's website, but these seem authentic due to the inclusion of negative comments. Most reviewers say they love this shoe's fit, cushioning and stability.

Review: Women's Mirage 2, Contributors to Saucony.com, As of October 2013

6. Saucony.com

About 15 men review the Mirage 2 on the manufacturer's retail site. They give it a rating of around 4.25 stars (out of 5). A few complain about the fit, but most say it's roomy and comfortable.

Review: Men's Mirage 2, Contributors to Saucony.com, As of October 2013

7. Amazon.com

Over 20 users comment on the Mirage 2, which earns an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. The complaints come from two people who were fitted in a running store but feel the shoe was not the correct choice.

Review: Saucony Women's ProGrid Mirage 2 Running Shoe, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2013

8. Amazon.com

Twenty-five owners have reviewed the men's version of this shoe so far, giving it an average 4.6-star rating. Two say they wear it for marathon-length runs.

Review: Saucony Men's Progrid Mirage 2 Running Shoe, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2013

9. RoadRunnerSports.com

Just seven owners have reviewed the women's version of the Mirage 2 on RoadRunnerSports.com, and so far, and they give it an average 4.3-star rating. They say they love the feel and fit and have no problem running long distances in these shoes. The two complaints concern durability and a stiff feel.

Review: Women's Saucony Progrid Mirage 2, Contributors to RoadRunnerSports.com, As of October 2013

10. Amazon.com

About 25 users leave feedback for the men's version of the original Saucony Mirage on Amazon.com, giving it a 4.6-star average rating. We're most interested in the mixed but mostly positive commentary they offer about the shoe's durability.

Review: Saucony Men's Progrid Mirage 2 Running Shoe, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2013

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